Latest Posts

A viable greenhouse technology

December 1, 2015
Steven Carruthers
Managing Editor

The AUD$3 million Young Sang & Co retractable roof greenhouse recently opened in Bundaberg, Australia, represents the future of greenhouse technology in warm, arid and semi-arid regions exposed to the vagaries of extreme weather events. The Bundaberg region is particularly known for its violent storms, which became a reality on the eve of the official opening of the new greenhouse. The timing could not have been better for the Canadian greenhouse designer, Cravo; the structure withstanding the fierce hail storm and 100kph winds, an exemplary testimony to the benefits of this technology. Retractable roof greenhouses are suitable for soilless and ground growing systems, without the added expense of ancillary equipment to control temperature and humidity, which is essential in a closed greenhouse environment. Read More »

Should I use copper fittings in hydroponics?

December 1, 2015
Rick Donnan

I plan to set up a small hydroponic system in my village allotment. I have some copper fittings left over from a kitchen renovation. I am concerned about using these because, although we have very little pilfering of produce from the allotments, the lure of stealing copper may be higher. Is there something cheaper and less attractive I can use instead?

Answer by RICK DONNAN Read More »

Can I sterilise my water before planting?

December 1, 2015
Rick Donnan

I will soon be going to transplant lettuce seedlings into my Deep Water Culture tank—20 cubic metres (m3) for the first time. I would like to ask you if it will be OK to add some pool chlorine into the tank at this stage, before I put any plants in, just to sterilise the tank before I commence. If it is safe to do, what amount of chlorine would you suggest I add per 1000 litres?

Answer by RICK DONNAN Read More »

Ultrafiltration cleans up for hydroponic cucumbers

November 30, 2015

All water used in a greenhouse and hydroponic system should be disinfected before use, and there is an extensive range of disinfection methods that could be used to treat water. In this article, the author gives a benefit cost assessment of ultrafiltration as a treatment option for water disinfection, a Horticulture Innovation Australia project undertaken by Primary Principles Pty Ltd.


Shedding Light on Brella Fields Produce

November 20, 2015

Fruit and vegetable growers face an ongoing battle with Mother Nature. Pest and disease pressure, climatic conditions and storm damage can make life difficult, especially for outdoor growers. This was clearly demonstrated at the opening event of the multimillion dollar Cravo retractable roof greenhouse facility near Bundaberg. The night before the event a storm front passed through the area with winds up to 100 km/hr bringing heavy rainfall and hail. Damage to outdoor crops was apparent, with some roads covered in debris from the storm. On the day of the opening a search had to be undertaken for a marquee, which had blown away in the storm, plus a bus was bogged in the muddy parking area and needed to be towed out with a tractor.

Full story by MAX HORVATH in Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses magazine, December 2015 / Issue 162.


The coming storm cell over the new Young & Sang retractable roof greenhouse the night before the official opening.

Storm damage to field tomatoes and tents and the fast recovery at Young Sang & Co farm operation.

Posted 20 November 2015

Vegetable growers lack confidence in the industry’s future

November 18, 2015

Results from the Grower Confidence Survey, conducted by national peak industry body AUSVEG, show that grower confidence in the vegetable industry has declined by 3.5% during the July to September 2015 quarter when compared to the previous quarter. The survey involves a selection of 10 questions relating to how confident growers feel about key economic indicators, including macroeconomic confidence, investment confidence, market confidence and confidence in government policy. Read More »

International Statistics – Flowers and Plants 2015

November 11, 2015

International Statistics Flowers and Plants 2015 is now available. The latest volume contains the current available data on the global production and trade of ornamental flowers and plants. New for this year are: two additional plant types in the Products chapter – Flowering plants (indoor) and Green plants (indoor), Vietnam has been added to the Area and Production chapter, and trade data for Australia and Vietnam is also included in the External trade chapter. Read More »